I'm joining Service Space because ... I'd love to be part of a community that amplifies goodness.
A good day to me is when ... I have worked with my hands and heart.
My hero in life is ...Everyone who reaches out
My favorite book is ...One Straw Revolution by Fukuoka
One thing I'm grateful for is ... The privilege to be able to think beyond survival.
May 18, 2021, 3 comments, 2 smiles Few days back, Debjeet Sarangi, a much loved son of the soil who touched many lives in India, transitioned. I remember being struck by this man who chose to work in an open mine as a daily wage laborer for a year just because he wanted to understand the plight of the miners. Below is an expression in memory of him, written by his good friend Kavita Kuruganti. It has been mildly edited for brevity. There are so many things that one wants to say - to say to dear Debjeet in fact, which is not possible any more. Say about Debjeet is what I will try now. About my memories, my feelings and my views/thoughts about Debjeet, the person and his work, including Living Farms. As many of you know by now, he succumbed to covid-19 on 15th of May (at just 53 years of age), and it is reported that he ... Read Full Story
May 07, 2021, 1 comments, 6 smiles In times of much suffering in India, where I live, thought of sharing this write up about how one can integrate natural health practices, and synchronize with Nature to navigate acute conditions, like many of our friends and family have chosen to.
Feb 28, 2021, 1 comments, 3 smiles Recently, I had an opportunity to catch up with a friend about his spiritual journey. We had not been in touch for a few years. As a way for us to catch up, he sent a recording of a 30 minute talk he had given to a small group of his friends. His sharing is a fascinating account of his seeking by attempting to understand the texts. And as someone who works on AI research at his job, his perspectives on AI and Spirituality are captured in a different QnA session. I enjoyed both and thought of sharing it here. There are few sentences that are spoken in Sanskrit in the beginning but bulk of the sharing is in English.
Nov 03, 2020, 7 comments, 18 smiles In last month's Sacred Space Pod, we were invited to reflect: "What's an act of kindness you'll never forget?" This response spontaneously surfaced for me: Yesterday, I had to send a parcel and went to the parcel office. The lady ahead of me was standing in way that blocked the entrance/exit. My parcel was a bit heavy and for a moment, I was a bit annoyed that though she could see me, I had to verbally ask her to move so I could enter and join the queue. Her turn came to deposit the parcel and she was short of change. While she was scrambling, I offered her that change. She was surprised but took it and turned back and flashed a huge smile. And when she left, she called out my attention and said a hearty, loud, cheerful, "Thank You" that made everyone, including the cashier, smile. The story begins again for ... Read Full Story
Jan 21, 2020, 3 comments, 8 smiles [ Below is the New Year wish we received from T S Ananthu, one of the founders of the eco community Navadarshanam near Bangalore, India.] We all get and send messages celebrating the arrival of a new year. The irony is that while occasions such as new year and birthdays are seen as a cause for celebration, the process of ageing isn't. Becoming older is seen as a cause for regret. In ancient times, age was seen as an indicator of maturity, even wisdom. But now, it is viewed with alarm by those getting older, and with disdain by those still young. Our culture is very much tilted in favour of the young - they are the ones targeted in advertisements that show youthful energy, they are the ones who are offered starting salaries that often exceed amounts paid to those with a life long of experience at the work place. But ... Read Full Story
Dec 22, 2019, 5 comments, 22 smiles When we came to know that Nipun would be in Chennai for a couple of events on Dec 18th, we held an intention to host an Awakin circle that would be open for all those who wished to connect. A few weeks back, Sangeeta Isvaran came to Sughad for her first Service Space retreat and wholeheartedly opened up her beautiful home by the beach in Chennai for an Awakin circle. On the 18th evening, the doors were held open. We had people like Shruti and Sheetal visiting from out of town adding their beautiful voices to the ambiance. Some friends who attended and organized Nipun's afternoon talks in Chennai came over for the evening to continue their deepening. Sangeeta's Dad graciously greeted us and made us feel at home. And we had a bunch of kids who played quietly for 45 minutes upstairs so the mothers can sit in silence. The ... Read Full Story
Nov 22, 2019, 4 comments, 13 smiles At age 102, Smt.Padma Swaminathan, fondly called Padma Paatti (grandma) was the eldest volunteer at aKarma Life, an organization I volunteer for. I feel extremely blessed to have shared time and space with her. This is an attempt to recount her inspiring life based on conversations with her and a couple of articles in newsletters from her senior citizens home and Ramana Ashram. Padma was born on December 1, 1917 at Tiruchi, a small town in South India, to Sri. F.G.Natesa Iyer and Smt.Rajarajeswari. Her father, a freedom fighter, was also fond of arts and established a space in Trichy (that still stands today) to promote meaningful entertainment. He himself was quite talented and earned the title "Father of Modern Tamil Drama". He discovered many everyday people with talent and shone the spotlight on them. M.S.Subbulakshmi, the nightingale of Indian classical music, had a concert hosted by him when she was just ... Read Full Story
Feb 28, 2019, 6 smiles Last December, Suchitra Shenoy was invited to share at the India Inclusion Summit. The summit is a yearly gathering of people with disabilities, their families, social entrepreneurs and educational institutions. Here's her talk at the summit titled Everyone Has Something to Give
Feb 07, 2019, 16 smiles Our good friends Gopal and Drishti who enthusiastically and tirelessly work with young people with disabilities, were visiting. And we got into a sort of unplanned circle with a small group of neighbors for shared learning on the subject of disability. Having a friend with a disability changes how you view the world. For instance, a friend told me how when she befriended someone with a hearing and speech disability, so much changed. When he visited her house, he looked at everything intently because that was his main modality of understanding more about her. Only then did she, (and I), realize how much we depend on sound to understand or get to know a new friend or even our surroundings. Similarly, having Gopal and Drishti as bridges to these seemingly other worlds, could help deepen our understanding. We started with a circle of sharing about one person with disability that we have known ... Read Full Story
Nov 03, 2018, 6 comments, 23 smiles Earlier this month, during Nipun's whirlwind tour de India, one of the stops was Hyderabad and I was fortunate to join the group of friends on a trip to Anahad, an eco-community that aspires to live by the principles of love, trust and sustainability. The community is a brainchild of two brothers Abid and Shabbar, and their families. It wasn't long ago that they shared their dream at a Startup Service event and here it was, a reality. A reality where 3 families live in their eco-friendly homes as stewards of the land around, assisted ably by people who have been mentored by Shabbar in these values. His wife Fatema reinvented herself as an architect among other things and had designed the homes, a community center and very comfortable labor quarters. Their energy has attracted their cousin Mustafa and his young family to move on the farm as well. And in their welcoming ... Read Full Story